By David Wise
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation along with a coalition of 38 economic development partners is running a full-page ad Monday in print outlets serving the central part of the country highlighting Wisconsin as a good place to do business.
The timing of the ad is an effort to capitalize on the national and global attention Wisconsin has received over the historic recall elections and focus it on Wisconsin’s economy and business climate, said WEDC CEO Paul Jadin
“We want to send a message that if you are paying attention to us, pay attention to us for business purposes, ask questions about us for business purposes and we’ll be happy to help you,” Jadin said.
“It’s all about capitalizing on the attention we’ve got in a positive way and letting everybody know this isn’t all about political chaos anymore, it’s about wanting them to pay attention to out business climate and our extended enterprise.”
In order to keep politics out of the ad, Jadin said they made sure it references no specific politician. He added that the ad was planned to run regardless of the outcome of the election.
The $109,000 cost of placing the ad will be paid for by the WEDC and partner organizations listed on the ad. Jadin said the WEDC is still receiving payment commitments, but expects the partners to cover the majority of the cost. The ad was designed by the firm Nelson Schmidt, which handles the WEDC’s marketing.
Vicki Markussen, executive director of the 7 Rivers Alliance, an economic development organization in the Upper Mississippi Valley, said the ad and sharing of the cost demonstrates how the public and private sector are working as partners to boost economic development in the state.
Markussen said that prior to the new administration, marketing was left largely to the regions.
“The regions felt there was really a need for an umbrella message from the state of Wisconsin,” Markussen. “It’s exciting to see that voice appearing.”
Jadin and Markussen both said that the end of the recall will be good for business in the state.
“It clearly is an albatross off our backs,” Jadin said. “There’s no question we’ve had a lot of companies talk about wanting to wait and see what happened on June 5—that they had some investment in mind.
“We’re hopeful that we see some acceleration of that investment in the very near future.”
Markussen said she’s heard the same regionally.
“That was a common theme I heard a year-and-a-half ago from our businesses—it’s just this hesitation because they wanted to see stability in government,” Markussen said. “I think now that we have this behind us, that it has given them the sense of stability that they need to move forward with their own plans.”
The ad features the slogan “Business is good for Wisconsin, Wisconsin is good for business” above a picture of the state superimposed on a rising sun. The text of the ad says the WEDC and partners are “working together to help you start, grow or locate your business in Wisconsin” and they “are ready to put our leadership and network of partnerships to work for you.”
It includes a link to a webpage that will be active Monday, http://www.wedc.org/goodforbusiness, that will feature a message from Jadin and opportunities to connect with WEDC staff.
The ad is the first product of a larger partnership effort in the works to highlight the state’s business climate and connect businesses to resources, but Jadin said the slogan and messaging for the larger campaign will not be the same as the current ad.
The ad is to run in regional issues of USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, Crain’s Chicago and Michigan Business, The Business Journal and The Business News. It aims to reach more than one million readers in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Ohio Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.